Apprehension is fear or anxiety about something, like the apprehension you feel about an upcoming test. Apprehension is also the capture of a criminal — that is, when the criminal is apprehended. Finally, apprehension can mean one's understanding of an idea. Get it?

Given the crook's record of evading arrest, the chief had real apprehensions about being able to catch him. Eventually though, she activated the whole police force in an effort to ensure the crook's apprehension. And it paid off! They caught him red-handed. But it wasn't until he saw the video of the crime in progress that the guy apprehended just how much trouble he was in. It was that apprehension that led him to make a deal with the district attorney.

Definitions of apprehension
  1. noun
    fearful expectation or anticipation
    “the student looked around the examination room with apprehension
    synonyms: apprehensiveness, dread
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    a feeling of alarm or dread
    boding, foreboding, premonition, presentiment
    a feeling of evil to come
    apprehension about what is going to happen
    gloom, gloominess, somberness, sombreness
    a feeling of melancholy apprehension
    chill, pall
    a sudden numbing dread
    a premonition of something adverse
    a foreboding about what is about to happen
    type of:
    fear, fearfulness, fright
    an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)
  2. noun
    painful expectation
    synonyms: misgiving
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    type of:
    expectation, outlook, prospect
    belief about (or mental picture of) the future
  3. noun
    the cognitive condition of someone who understands
    synonyms: discernment, savvy, understanding
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    an ability to understand the meaning or importance of something (or the knowledge acquired as a result)
    an understanding of yourself and your goals and abilities
    a slight or superficial understanding of a subject
    appreciation, grasp, hold
    understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something
    understanding with difficulty
    understanding the nature of an event after it has happened
    brainstorm, brainwave, insight
    the clear (and often sudden) understanding of a complex situation
    realisation, realization, recognition
    coming to understand something clearly and distinctly
    a natural appreciation or ability
    mental understanding as an enlightening experience
    an enlightening or astonishing disclosure
    breakthrough, discovery, find
    a productive insight
    a sudden brilliant understanding
    type of:
    a clear and certain mental apprehension
  4. noun
    the act of apprehending (especially apprehending a criminal)
    synonyms: arrest, catch, collar, pinch, taking into custody
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    type of:
    capture, gaining control, seizure
    the act of forcibly dispossessing an owner of property
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘apprehension'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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